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   Study in Germany»  

GERMANY - " A researcher’s haven "
Germany is top choice for Indians who wish to pursue engineering

The country’s USP
Germany is a leader in Science and Technology. No wonder most Indians landing in Germany are research and post-doctoral aspirants in Engineering. What makes German education attractive is that it is practice-oriented. Many universities require students to compulsorily take up an internship, also called industrial placements that may or may not be paid, as part of their programme. Else students are not allowed to sit for their final exams. Certain programmes like International Business Administration require applicants to have done a pre-study internship. Even otherwise, pupils are encouraged to go for voluntary internship that can help them put their aptitude on trial or explore a different career option.

Hot for what?
According to official data for 2003, Engineering remains the top subject choice of Indian students (47 per cent) in Germany, followed by Mathematics and natural sciences (34 per cent); Law, Economics and Social Studies (8 per cent); Language and Civilisation studies (five per cent); Medicine (3.5 per cent); veterinary Medicine, Forestry, agro-and nutritional science (2 per cent); and arts, music ad sports (0.5 per cent).

Top institutes
1. University of Stuttgart
2. University of Dortmund
3. Technical University Darmstadt
4. University of Applied Science Karlsruhe
5. Technical University Berlin

Session commences
The winter semester starts in October (major intake for all subjects and universities) and the summer semester in April (minor intake, only for limited subjects and universities).

Standardised tests scores
A SAT score is required for entry to an undergraduate programme. TOEFL or IELTS scores are also mandatory. Universities offering postgraduate programmes in Engineering may ask for GRE scores and those offering MBA degree may look for GMAT-qualified candidates.

Tuition fees
Till a year or so ago, state-funded universities did not charge any tuition fees as they were borne by German taxpayers, However, the German Supreme Court ruled in January 2005 that individual federal states are free to decide whether they want to introduce tuition charges. Consequently, nine states have so far introduced fees that range from 200 to 600 euros (Rs 10,834 – Rs 32,504) a semester in state-financed institutions (90 per cent of German universities are government-run).

Students can live on – or off-campus Putting up in student dormitories, subsidized by the government, definitely costs less than private housing.

Cost of living: living expenses, including living, food, study material, health insurance, clothing and so on, may come to about 700 euros (Rs37,922) a month depending on a university’s location. Metros like Munich are more expensive than small towns.

Universities have a limited number of scholarship, offered only to the most outstanding pupils. Other funding organisations like German Academic Exchange service (DAAD) may have something to offer, but the funds are meant mostly for Ph.D and post-doctoral studies.

Part-time jobs
Without holding as work permit, students are allowed to work off-campus for up to 90 days or 180 half days (four hours a day).Many federal states, however, let students job only during the summer area. There is no restriction on the number of hours for on-campus jobs, which are in some way or the other related to a student’s study programme.

Student visa
Candidates, once selected by institutes, should approach the German embassy or Consulate, closed to their residence, along with their passport valid for at least 12 months, two complete sets of application fee of Rs. 1,100, financial proof or statement for funding (Rs. 3.5 – 4 lakh), and a health certificate.
The Mission takes up to 12 weeks to process a visa application and the final decision on the case is known, only after two months. If a visa is granted, it is initially valid only for three months. On reaching Germany, the student will have to visit the Foreigners’ Registration Office in the city where the university is located and request that his visa period be extended for the duration of the study programme.

Job opportunities
The German Immigration Law that came into effect on January 1,2005, has to an extent cut down on the red, and made Germany more attractive both as a place to study as well as a place to work. Students are permitted to stay in Germany for up t a year after completing their degree programme to search for suitable employment. Once a job in found, a student may seek conversion of his visa into a work visa – a German Green card – that allows him to stay for up to five years in the country.

How to apply
Send your admission application directly to the selected university or apply through a consortium known as Uni-assist (earlier called ASSIST) (www.uni-assist.de), which has 98 member institutions. However, certain universities, through members of Uni-assist, do not accept applications via the umbrella organisation.

When to apply
Aspirants should stat looking at options by January-February and apply by March.

For Indians – who mostly wish to pursue international degree programmes (delivered throughout or party in English), application deadline are from March to May of the year in which admission is sought. You should, however, check the exact date with your chosen university.

Application processing time
The status of an application is usually communicated by June or July.

Application docket
Applicants have to submit their university application form along with authenticated copies of the following
Educational certificates
Curriculum Vitae (at times required)
A copy of your passport
SAT / GRE / GMAT score
Statement of purpose, college essay or professional interest essay (some institutes require it)
Work experience certificates (if required)
Some institutions may also ask candidates to submit recommendation letters, which should be expressive in nature.
A German education aspirant must have a strong and impressive educational tack record. His academic background should be related to the field of study he wishes to pursue in Germany. There is no harm in sending information on your extra-curricular activities however, you need not if you wish. Applications routed through Uni-assist have to be sent to the consortium’s Germany office, along with a proof of payment of the processing fee of 55 euros for applying to the first university and 15 euros extra for every additional institution you choose.

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